Pennsylvania small businesses and eligible nonprofits in all 67 counties can now apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Amid Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown of non-life-sustaining businesses, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans will offer up to $2 million in loans to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%, said Steve Bulger, regional administrator for the SBA, based out of Albany.

“Realistically, if you were to apply today, the loan process takes a few weeks, so expect any money to arrive within 30 days,” he said.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on each borrower’s ability to repay.

Businesses can get in contact by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Completed applications can also be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Rd., Fort Worth, Texas, 76155.

The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is Dec. 21, 2020.

“We’re telling people the average time for a loan application to be processed, and with an answer of yes or no, is 18 to 21 days,” Bulger said.

The business owner has to submit tax returns and financial information, which must then be reviewed and verified.

“If approved, a loan closing would be scheduled immediately. The money would go out very quickly right after that – usually a few days,” he said. “To be realistic, with hundreds of thousands of small businesses applying, realistically, it’s 30 days until you have money in your account.”